Parking lot becomes delivery pad

September 11, 1992|By Frank D. Roylance | Frank D. Roylance,Staff Writer

Jennifer Lynn Montooth couldn't wait for a more conventional place to be born, so she popped into the world in the parking lot of the Bob's Big Boy Restaurant in Pikesville.

"It was kind of exciting, but not the kind of excitement I ever want to do again in my lifetime," said Jennifer's mother, Mary Angela Montooth, 26, of the western Baltimore County town of Woodstock.

She and her husband, Scott, 35, were laughing about it yesterday. After all, their new baby, at 8 pounds 6 ounces, was healthy, beautiful, and attracting reporters and photographers at the tender age of barely a day.

But on Wednesday afternoon, they found nothing funny about their predicament.

Mrs. Montooth, an admitting officer at Baltimore County General Hospital, was at home, still waiting for the birth of her second child 10 long days after her due date. Her wait ended when her water broke at 3:30 p.m. Scott, a receiving and inventory clerk at Baltimore County General, immediately drove her to the Randallstown office of her obstetrician, Dr. Indu Sapra.

Dr. Sapra told her, "Go ahead and go to the hospital. You have plenty of time," Mrs. Montooth recalled.

So, they headed directly up Old Court Road toward the Baltimore Beltway in a Plymouth minivan borrowed from Mrs. Montooth's sister. Their destination: the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson. Stopping in Pikesville was the last thing on their minds.

But that was as far as they got.

"When we got to Reisterstown Road and Old Court," Mrs. Montooth said, "I said to my husband: 'We're not going to make it.' He said: 'Yes we are.' And I said: 'No we're not. Find a fire station.' "

Instead, Mr. Montooth pulled up at the first pay phone he spotted -- in the parking lot of the Bob's Big Boy in the 1700 block of Reisterstown Road -- jumped out and dialed 911. A man in a car beside them heard Mrs. Montooth scream and fled.

"He looked at me like I was a nut, and left," she said.

By the time Mr. Montooth got to the phone, the baby's head was out, Mrs. Montooth said.

It was 4:24 p.m. But the drama wasn't over yet. Jennifer Lynn was born with her umbilical cord wrapped twice around her neck, and she wasn't breathing.

From the phone booth, Mr. Montooth could see into the van. And he relayed developments and instructions between the 911 operator and his wife in the front passenger seat, doing his best to keep things under control.

"I watched him, and he was very calm on the outside," Mrs. Montooth said.

"On the inside, I was not," her husband added.

Despite careful instructions from the 911 operator on how to clear the baby's airway with a tissue, "this one was always one jump ahead, every step of the way," he said. Unable to find a tissue in the van, Mrs. Montooth resorted to a more traditional slap on the baby's bottom. It worked.

Soon, a fire engine arrived, followed by a small crowd of onlookers and, finally, paramedics. They took mother and baby to GBMC, where both were pronounced in good health.

The baby is their second child. Their first, Karen Elizabeth, was born a year ago, in a hospital.

"My family is in shock that I actually delivered the baby. They can't believe I did it," Mrs. Montooth said. All in all, she said: "I would not recommend delivering a baby in a van, in a parking lot."

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